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Old 07-23-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Learn me on: BMW M3

Thinking about picking up a different daily and going 90% race with the current miata, or it's replacement.

I'm looking at a 97 M3 with about 160K miles. The owner says the starter may need to be replaced soon, otherwise it's in great shape. I've always lusted for these cars but horror storys of plastic water pumps, $80 oil changes and million dollar crank replacements have kept me away.

Any one have good stories, bad stories, story stories?
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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odbII boo
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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Most of the expense of those $80 oil changes comes from the extra stuff dealers like to tack on, we used to work on BMWs and Mercs all the time (shop was across the street from Sawgrass, where the Player's Championship is played, so lots of german cars...) and there's no reason for it to be that expensive. It's probably a canister filter but that's easy, just don't destroy the carrier.

The starter thing might need some looking at, it could just be the starter, or maybe the owner is hinting at bigger problems and not being totally honest.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:06 PM   #4
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Check it out, very sweet cars.
Three of my friends have E36's, two area heavily modified, very heavily...so much fun.
They are like a Miata in a way, if you take care of it it is bulletproof.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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I daily drove a 95 M3 for over 3 years. If you keep up on the maintenance they are a great car. Much of the cost people complain about is when you take it to the dealership for basic things. Doing the stuff yourself is where it's at. I never modded mine because I used it as my daily, but I hear it can get pricey if you need high horsepower. The things I liked best was how it held its value over the time I owned it and how reliable it was. Go for it.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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They are the perfect cars for the silver/bald headed bunch that don't know **** about cars. How many cupholders do they have???
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:14 PM   #7
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I would be driving a e46 right now if the insurance payment wasn't the same for me as the monthly payment.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad0953 View Post
They are the perfect cars for the silver/bald headed bunch that don't know **** about cars. How many cupholders do they have???
What the **** are you smoking on?
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:17 PM   #9
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It's sad, because M3's are so good for people who don't know anything about cars, and most people who know a lot about cars lust after them. I know I've always wanted an E36 and the newest M3 (I mean...hell v8 that's lighter than i6 and carbon fiber roof!). I think people who actually know about cars and are embarrassed by other M3 owners probably get a 135i.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:20 PM   #10
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Love the E36 M3.

Though I don't know about 160k miles. I wouldn't buy a car with that much unless I had engine rebuild & restoration plans. Just too much which can go wrong (and you can't deny parts are expensive on M's). Problems on cars seem to run in a nice J curve.

Remember the M stands for cost multiplier.

I'd personally do a 325is instead.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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What I learned from looking for and buying Porsches is maintenance records are king. Same principle applies to the Bimmer. Make sure he has them. If not, I dont think I would buy it. At 160K miles, you dont want to purchase a mechanic's dream.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:00 PM   #12
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awesome to drive and awesome if you like constantly working on cars.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:18 PM   #13
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You do realize the car has 160k miles right? This bitch better be a steal. When buying something with such mileage... your not just getting a motor with 160k.. your getting 160k suspension, bushings, old sex juices from previous owner getting *** in the backseat... etc.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:23 PM   #14
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my parents have two bimmers, dad is one his second. Always something electrically wrong with them....airbag lights, headlights, nav system.... plus the tire life is ****. Probably the only reason I scratched htem off my list. I dont wanna buy 245/17s every year...and certainly don't want all seasons, so winter tires is a must, and I dont wanna store an extra set of winter tires. My parents bimmers' each have winter tires.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:03 PM   #15
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I know they are probably a headache and they are rare and expensive, and not too fast by todays standards, but I love the e30's.


great looking car.

Edit:sorry about the huge pic
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:33 PM   #16
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That guy must be a baller, he has an e30 and a Corado, both expensive to repair...

Here is a local auto-x'er.
Name:  xxxxxx.jpg
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:59 PM   #17
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Go here. Read about the e36 LS1, then build one. Bimmerforums has lots of good info and plenty of educated/knowledgeable people. And plenty of douchebags too.

DON'T bother making power with ze german power plant unless you are made of money.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:39 AM   #18
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get a similar year 325is.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:16 PM   #19
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if it has been maintained i say go for it. i've driven an e36 m3 a handful of times and they really are a lot of fun. i actually considered buying one instead of a miata. the only reason i didn't is because i'm trying to save money for various things at the moment and i'm essentially on a student's budget.

the interiors on that generation are known to fall apart, so be prepared for that. if you do decide to replace interior components you find laying on the floormat be prepared to pay out the *** for them.

i hear the diff mounts on them can be kind of weak from the factory, but there are aftermarket replacements you can get.

i second whoever said to keep an eye on your upcoming needed services though. if you stay on top of it you'll be fine. just know it's not going to be as easy to work on or nearly as cheap as your miata.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarniwoop42 View Post
I know they are probably a headache and they are rare and expensive, and not too fast by todays standards, but I love the e30's.


great looking car.

Edit:sorry about the huge pic
I'm touching myself right now.
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